4 Things to Consider When Choosing Volunteer Work

By Marina Krivonossova on June 14, 2021

One of the best ways to gain work experience, make new connections, and give back to the community is through volunteer work. Whether you have several days of free time available every week or just a few hours, there is bound to be a volunteer opportunity available for you in person or online. But with so many volunteer opportunities available with a plethora of organizations, how do you know which one is the right fit for you? Here are four things to consider when choosing volunteer work to ensure that you go for the opportunity that makes the most sense given your individual circumstances.

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1. How much of a time commitment does the organization require? There are some organizations that require a time commitment of 20 hours a week, there are some that require your attendance at an event that takes place every half a year, and there are others that require anything and everything in between. Before you start your search for a volunteer opportunity, make sure you decide in advance how much time you want to commit to volunteering. That way, you can ensure that your desired time commitments align with those of the organization whom you intend to volunteer with.

2. What is the organization’s mission/purpose? The best thing you can do for yourself and for the organization you choose to volunteer with is ensuring that your views align with the organization’s mission/purpose. When you’re working towards supporting a cause you care about, you’ll be putting in your best effort, and volunteering will become something you truly look forward to. You can’t go wrong with dedicating your time to a cause that you’re passionate about!

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3. Does this opportunity require me to volunteer in-person or online? Before you start looking for a volunteer opportunity, decide if you want to do volunteer work in-person or remotely. There are numerous opportunities available regardless of the path you choose, but you have to ensure that you’re clear from the start about what it is you’re looking to do. For instance, if you’re considering volunteering with an organization that requires you to take on a gardening task every week, but you’re actually just looking to do something remote every month or two, you would be better off looking into another opportunity.

4. What skills could I gain from this opportunity? Just because you’re volunteering your time to support an organization, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be getting something out of the opportunity as well. Before you take up a volunteer job, consider the sort of skills you will be gaining from it. For example, if you’re looking to build your website design skills, offer your beginner knowledge to a community organization that needs its website revamped. Or, if you’re passionate about human rights, consider volunteering with a local non-governmental organization (NGO) that prioritizes helping victims of human rights infringements. Even if there’s no specific skill you’re looking to gain from volunteering, that’s okay. You can be sure you’ll leave your opportunity with some generally useful ones, such as teamwork, leadership, and time management.

And no matter what you do, remember this: you can never go wrong with volunteer work! There are so many amazing organizations out there which help support local communities, that the best thing you can do for yourself and the world around you is to start volunteering today.

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